Alive After Five is less than four weeks away - meaning everything about Boise is about to feel livelier.
On Wednesdays through early September, locals will stroll into The Grove Plaza from 5 to 8 p.m. Some will be in business attire. Most will wear shorts and sandals. They'll sip drinks, people watch and reminisce about the days when they were those noisy kids splashing happily in the fountain.
There's live music, too. It isn't the reason that everyone goes to AA5, but it is the main draw.
It's also an annual challenge for the Downtown Boise Association. Handcuffed by budget limitations, the DBA has a couple of options: Blow big bucks on one or two larger acts, then gamble on inconsistent, sometimes unknown entertainers the rest of the summer; or try to balance the situation from week to week, striving for modest consistency.
The latter approach is usually a better tactic, and this year's schedule illustrates why. After a couple of so-so years, Alive After Five has bounced back with its best overall lineup in ages.
There's no reason to care who's playing each week - but this time, it's for all the right reasons. Basically, if you go, you're going to experience something fun more often than not. This schedule appeals to the indie Treefort crowd (Sallie Ford, Pickwick), the blues veterans (Curtis Salgado, Too Slim), and the I-just-wanna-dance crew (Polyrhythmics, Clumsy Lovers).
Another feel-good aspect is the continued involvement of local musicians as opening acts. Many of the openers chosen to perform are contributors to a Boise 150 compilation CD coming this summer. Nineteen acts are being featured on the album, which will include songs inspired by life in Boise. (Details: www.boise150.org/projects/city)
In the end, Alive After Five always boils down to personal preference. No matter what band plays, we always crave one more favorite.
I posed the question on Facebook: What (reasonably attainable) band do you wish Alive After Five would book? Commenters' suggestions included Gary Clark Jr., Vokab Kompany, Goodnight Argent, Karl Denson and Electric Six.
What would be your dream AA5 band? While you ponder that, here's the schedule to look forward to ...
ALIVE AFTER FIVE 2013
June 5: Curtis Salgado, James
Coberly Smith w/LeAnne Town
June 12: Patrick Sweany, Ned Evett
June 19: The Iguanas, Steve Fulton
June 26: Sallie Ford and The
Sound Outside, Finn Riggins
July 3: Tony Furtado, The High Tone
July 10: Pickwick, Thomas Paul
July 17: Dave Alvin, a.k.a. Belle
July 24: Too Slim and The
Taildraggers, Lee Penn Sky
July 31: The Derailers, Johnny Shoes
Aug. 7: Ben Taylor, Grandma Kelsey
Aug. 14: Clumsy Lovers, Jonathan
Warren and The BillyGoats
Aug. 21: Chuck Prophet and
The Mission Express, Juke Daddys
Aug. 28: Polyrhythmics, Calico
Sept. 4: Record Exchange finale TBA
$10 CONCERT TICKETS AT REVOLUTION CENTER? YES!
The Revolution Center is feeling festive. The 2,200-capacity concert house in Garden City finally got its liquor license this week.
To mark the occasion, it is offering a one-day-only, $10 sale to, well, pretty much everything: Primus in 3D (May 12), Brit Floyd (May 17), Lamb of God (May 24), Rusko (May 25), John Hiatt (July 18), Sublime with Rome (Aug. 7) and Adam Ant (Sept. 4.)
The sale is from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, May 10. Buy tickets at Ticketfly or at The Record Exchange. The $10 price is limited to the first 500 tickets sold to each show.
"We're celebrating," explains owner Creston Thornton. "It's been a long haul to get our state liquor license approved. Ten-dollar tickets. Come celebrate with us!"
Until now, the RevCenter has sold alcohol using a third-party catering permit. This resulted in no alcohol at three shows. Not anymore. And with $10 tickets, you can afford to take a taxi home.